The recent stories about mental suffering and isolation in our profession are heartbreaking. As a member of the community, we are incredibly grateful to those who have spoken out and sparked the conversation about what our profession can do to improve. As one step, we are joining with our peers in signing the ABA Pledge on Well Being in the Legal Profession. The pledge includes seven objectives:
- Provide enhanced and robust education to attorneys and staff on well-being, mental health, and substance use disorders.
- Reduce the expectation of alcohol at firm events by seeking creative alternatives and ensuring that non-alcoholic alternatives are always available.
- Partner with outside providers who are committed to reducing substance use disorders and mental health distress in the profession.
- Provide confidential access to addiction and mental health experts and resources to all employees, including free, in-house self-assessment tools.
- Develop proactive policies and protocols to support assessment and treatment of substance use and mental health problems, including a defined back-to-work policy following treatment.
- Show that the firm’s core values include taking care of yourself and getting help when needed by regularly & actively supporting programs to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being.
- Use this pledge, and the firm’s commitment to these principles, to attract and retain the best lawyers and staff.